There's a new procedure that can help some new moms with pain and scars from childbirth.
In mid-March 2012, Danielle Hamilton welcomed her third child. She was overjoyed by the prospect of expanding her family, but not looking forward to undergoing yet another C-section.
"I was dreading the pain afterwards. I have good pregnancies and births, but the after part is very difficult," Hamilton said.
"Everyone's concerned about the pain involved and the cosmetic appearance of the scar," said Dr. Jabal Uffelman, her obstetrician/gynecologist.
Uffelman suggested a new treatment to address both concerns -- a laser procedure which penetrates the skin and speeds up the healing process.
"Rapid healing means less scar tissue, both internally, which can affect chronic pain, as well as externally, which can give you a better cosmetic result," Uffelman said.
The procedure involves what's called a class-four laser. It's used in medical practices around Houston and at least one company in Florida has started offering the treatment in a patient's home.
"They set it up with us before they deliver, or the day they deliver, and we start coming to their house either the day they get home or the next day," said Uffelman.
"Within five days of having my son, I was up and walking around and off the pain meds," said Hamilton. "It was amazing."
She was also thrilled that the evidence of her C-section was quickly fading.
"It's a thin line so there's no keloiding, so the scar itself looks great," Hamilton said.
The procedure can be used after many kinds of surgical procedures, including plastic surgery. The class-four lasers are also used in physical therapy, chiropractic practices, dentistry and even in veterinary offices to help ease a sick or injured animal's pain. If a surgical procedure is covered by insurance, the class four-laser therapy may be, too, so be sure to talk to your doctor and your insurance company.